(Washington, DC - April 12, 2004) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President Thomas A.Dine welcomed the creation of "Radio New Europe," an independent, nonprofit successor to the recently closed Bulgarian Service of RFE/RL.
Dine said, "Radio Free Europe" proudly passes the torch to Radio New Europe, which will continue to broadcast free and unfettered news and information in the best tradition of RFE/RL."
Under the guidance of Radio New Europe's chairman Gueorgui Stoychev, who was until February director of RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service, Radio New Europe will continue popular programs such as "Blitz" and "Studio Bulgaria", employ many of the same staff, and broadcast on its frequencies in nine Bulgarian cities. Radio New Europe plans to pursue other innovative programming ventures and aims to become a leading independently funded public radio in Bulgaria along the model of public radio stations in the US and Europe.
Stoychev said: "We will continue to build on the mission and legacy of Radio Free Europe. We have changed our name and sources of funding, yet we remain a non-profit foundation and are very pleased to be able to continue the promotion of democratic values by providing our audience with the same crucial coverage of events that has served the Bulgarian people for over 50 years."
Radio New Europe, no longer funded by RFE/RL, is seeking funds to maintain its broadcasting mission from a variety of sources including local and international grant-making organizations, corporate sponsorship and advertising.
President Thomas A. Dine will visit Bulgaria April 25-27 to participate in the official launch of Radio New Europe.